Emmia feels the emotion of all who surround her. Her Talent is empathy and it’s more curse than blessing. She employs her skill as a justice mercenary, discovering criminals and meting out punishment. Soon she finds herself investigating an enigmatic man named Magnus, at the behest of his friend, Quinn.
In a sexual tangle…
But both Magnus and Quinn are drawn to Emmia, just as they are drawn to each other. All three of them become lost in a weave of scorching and erotic desire coupled with emotional need.
Soon Emmia is balancing the two men like swords to uncover the truth and not be hurt in the bargain…
***Please note this book is a menage a trois romance with male/male elements***
Excerpt: Whisper of the Blade, by Anya Bast
Copyright © ANYA BAST, 2007
Magnus guided his horse past the thick covering of bushes and trees of the old forest he traveled through. He’d left the main road through the Eastern Mountains some time ago to indulge himself in a solitary ride back to Ravensbridge. He knew the way and, if he ever lost it, he had a compass and a map tucked into the saddlebag of the chestnut brown stallion he rode.
The journey would take longer cross-country, but he had no pressing need to be back at Ravensbridge. Indeed, he did not even have a desire. Rolf, his castellan, could take care of things until he returned. Everyone much preferred him gone these days, anyway. Many of them wanted him dead.
He wouldn’t go easily, though. They’d have to lynch him. Magnus refused to be punished for a crime he never committed.
The evidence was damning. Magnus knew that to every man, woman and child at Ravensbridge it appeared he’d committed murder. It even looked that way to Quinn. Sorrow clenched in his chest and throat when he remembered the look of shock, then doubt in his best friend’s eyes.
Even the person who knew him best in the world thought he’d done it.
Magnus knew that Quinn was even now on his way through these forests to seek the aid of a justice mercenary. That was the primary reason Magnus had gone cross-country. He wanted to get a glimpse of the woman who might stand in judgment of him, the woman likely to be his executioner…if she could manage to kill him, that was. Since he was innocent, he wouldn’t go down without a fight.
A full four weeks had passed since the crime had been committed. Four weeks of hell in which he’d been accused, had protested his innocence and finally laid down the law because he’d felt he’d had no other choice. Unable to exist at Ravensbridge amid the whispers, suspicious glances, and outright fear of him, he’d left to travel to his sister’s keep.
A messenger bird, keyed to his location by someone who had the Talent, had reached him yesterday, letting him know that Quinn could not take the uncertainty of Magnus’ guilt any longer and had gone to employ a justice mercenary.
The woman was well known in the Eastern Mountains and he knew she dwelt in these leaf-laden hills. No one could pass through these woods without her knowing it. As an empath, she could sense the whereabouts of anyone because of the emotions they emitted. She would never sense him, however, because he was also an empath. The rare talent canceled out in two people face-to-face. Well, theoretically, anyway. There were so few empaths in the world, it had rarely, if ever, been put to the test. Mostly likely, he would not be able to feel her emotion, nor her his.
The idea of meeting someone like her was an attractive one…even if she might want to kill him. He’d take the risk.
Further into the forest, he heard the splash of water and a woman’s voice swearing low. Silently as he could, Magnus slipped from his mount, tied him to a tree and stepped carefully through the trees, trying not to break any branches. She wouldn’t be on guard for sounds in the forest. He knew that for certain. No, she’d been open to sensing emotion, not listening for noise, just as he would be in her position.
From his place in the undergrowth, he caught a glimpse of her in a large, still pool of water. She stood with her back to him, lean, lithe body moving as she bathed herself. The sunlight sprinkled her skin through the canopy of trees overhead and caressed her short, curvaceous body. Long, dark hair hung damp down to the small of her back, twisted into a braid that lay like a heavy rope along her spine. A pity her buttocks were concealed under the water. He had the sense they were as luscious and sweetly curved as the rest of her.
She turned a little, revealing the tender swell of a breast topped with a pinkened nipple. Her profile revealed her to be a beauty, but her features were set with an intense expression, almost sorrowful.
But the most wonderful thing was that he didn’t know how she felt. The absence of foreign emotion while he viewed another person felt like a balm to his often-battered soul.
Magnus stared. He’d never expected beauty, not from all the tales he’d been told about this woman. He’d expected her to be strong, mannish, but while it was clear she was muscled, her body well-toned from physical exertions, she appeared small, almost delicate. She seemed barely able to hold a sword, yet she’d gone up against some of the worst scum Molari had to offer and had come away the victor.
Magnus took a step toward her before he remembered himself. To court a conversation with Emmia, the most deadly of justice mercenaries, was to court death.
And he was already doing that.